Celosia argentea ‘Punky Red’ (Spicata Group)

Celosia argentea ‘Punky Red’ on 8-4-12, #113-12.

Wheat Celosia,  Wheat Straw Celosia

Celosia argentea ‘Punky Red’

se-LO-see-uh  ar-JEN-tee-uh

Synonyms of Celosia argentea (40) (Updated on 11-8-22): Amaranthus cristatus (L.) Noronha (1790), Amaranthus huttonii H.J.Veitch (1872), Amaranthus purpureus Dodoens ex Nieuwl. (1914), Amaranthus pyramidalis Noronha (1790), Celosia argentea var. cristata (L.) Kuntze (1891), Celosia argentea f. cristata (L.) Schinz (1934), Celosia argentea var. linearis E.Vilm. (1866), Celosia argentea var. margaritacea (L.) Iamonico (2013), Celosia argentea var. mumbaiana M.R.Almeida (2003), Celosia argentea var. plumosa (Barr & Sugden) Bakh.f. (unknown publication), Celosia argentea var. vera Kuntze (1891), *Celosia aurea J.Dix (1860), *Celosia aurea T.Moore (1861), Celosia castrensis L. (1762), Celosia cernua Roxb. (1820), Celosia cernua Andrews (1811), Celosia coccinea L. (1762), Celosia comosa Retz. (1791), Celosia cristata L. (1753), Celosia cristata var. castrensis (L.) Iamonico (2013), Celosia cristata var. humilis Hassk. (1842), Celosia debilis S.Moore (1916), Celosia huttonii Mast. (1872), Celosia japonica Houtt. (1777), Celosia japonica Mart. (1814), Celosia linearis Sweet ex Hook.f.(1885), Celosia margaritacea L.(1762), Celosia marylandica Retz. (1783), Celosia pallida Salisb. (1796), Celosia plumosa Barr & Sugden (1866), Celosia purpurea J.St.-Hil. (1808), Celosia pyramidalis Burm.f. (1768), Celosia spicata Barr & Sugden (1866) (nom. illeg.), Celosia splendens Schumach. & Thonn. (1827), Celosia stricta Hornem. (1819), Celosia swinhoei Hemsl. (1891), Chamissoa margaritacea (L.) Schouw (1847), Chamissoa stricta (Hornem.) Schouw (1847), Lophoxera comosa (Retz.) Raf. (1837), Lophoxera racemosa Raf. (1837). *POWO replaced Celosa aurea T.Moore (1861) with Celosia aurea J.Dix (1860). Most other databases still say Celosia aurea T.Moore so I have included both which makes 40 rather than 39 synonyms as shown on POWO. The editor of POWO said they found an earlier publication. The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) does not include Celosia aurea J.Dix as of 11-7-22 when this page was updated. I’m sure they will have it soon.

Celosia argentea are great plants and come in several shapes and sizes. Many cultivars are available to fit your needs and are easy to grow from seed.

As you see from the above list, there is a long list of synonyms for Celosia argentea. You will notice they are offered online (and catalogs) as Celosia argentea, Celosia argentea var. spicata, Celosia argentea var. cristata, Celosia spicata, Celosia cristata, etc. At the moment Celosia argentea is the accepted scientific and the other names are synonyms. It doesn’t particularly matter what growers call their plants as long as you get what you are looking for. 

Celosia argentea L. is the accepted scientific name for the Cockscomb. The genus and species were both named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

As of 11-8-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Oline by Kew lists 46 species in the Celosia genus. It is a member of the plant family Amaranthaceae with 183 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.


Celosia argentea ‘Punky Red’ at 34″ tall in the west bed at the mansion in Mississippi on 7-2-12, #106-9.

I bought seeds of the Celosia argentea ‘Punky Red’ from Stokes Seeds in 2012 while living at the mansion in Mississippi. I planted the seeds in flats in the sunroom then moved the seedling to beds in the backyard and the bed by the west sunroom. They fizzled out in the backyard for some reason, but still did very well in the bed next to the west sunroom. They grew to almost 48″ and flowered until frost.

I enjoyed growing the Celosia ‘Punky Red’ and liked their long, skinny flower spikes. Their stems were also a reddish color which was a nice contrast to their bright green leaves.

Information suggests they prefer growing in full sun, which is at least 6 hours a day. They didn’t get that much in the west bed and the ones in the full sun in the backyard fizzled out first…

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.


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